Wind in the Wires by Janet Chester Bly
A cowgirl searches for love and family. An old man seeks justice for two cold case murders. Their journey together exposes lies and betrayal. Will the truth be too hard for either to bear?
It’s 1991. Reba Cahill loves ranching with Grandma Pearl in north central Idaho. But there’s a lot of work and only two of them. Reba decides she needs a husband to help her run the ranch. But she finds few prospects in the small town of Road’s End.
But Reba is also missing something else: her mother. Deserted by her at three-years-old and never knowing her dad, she feels a sense of longing and loss. And bitterness.
When elderly, quirky Road’s End citizen Maidie Fortress dies, Uncle Seth presents Reba Cahill with an expensive piece of jewelry that turns Reba’s world upside down and leads her down unexpected paths and toward unsuspected admirers. Will the facts also ruin all hope for romance?
Reba Cahill’s Veggie Beef Crockpot Soup
Janet Chester Bly
Cowgirl Reba Mae Cahill of Wind in the Wires was so excited to learn about crockpots. She got her first one in 1989. Not one to like to fuss in the kitchen, she could start her soup or stew in the morning after chores and loved the feel of knowing it slow cooked all day. Off she went to fix fences and wrangle cows with her black horse, Johnny Poe. The veggie choices varied, but not the spices. She favored the mix of basil, dill and turmeric.
1-2 lb. ground beef
12 oz. mixed veggies–frozen, canned, or fresh
2 12 oz. cans tomatoes
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 Tbsp. basil or to taste
1 tsp. dill or to taste
1 pinch turmeric or to taste
Salt to taste
30 oz. beef broth
6 oz. ketchup
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 clove garlic minced
2 stalks celery, cut up
1 can corn
1 can green beans
add fresh or frozen (thawed) spinach last half hour
Crockpot or Stovetop Directions:
Add to large crockpot and cook on low for six hours or on high four hours. Or in large kettle on top stove and simmer several hours.
Pearl Cahill’s Jalapeno Cheesy Corn Muffins
Janet Chester Bly
Serving: 24 muffins
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour (see links below for gluten-free conversions)
4 tsp. baking powder
5 Tbsp. sugar or light brown sugar or 3 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. salt
Add pinch each: chili pepper, black pepper, and paprika
2 tsp. minced onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
10 oz. shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
1/3 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed) or fresh or canned, well drained
4 jalapenos, minced (**) or 1 can jalapenos diced and drained
1 Preheat oven 400° F.
2 Grease muffin tins or insert paper liners.
3 Combine eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter in bowl.
4 In another large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
5 Add shredded cheddar, jalapenos, garlic and onion, and corn kernels to dry ingredients.
6 Add wet ingredients and mix gently just until all is moist.
7 Divide batter evenly into 24 muffins, about 3/4 full.
8 Sprinkle with extra Parmesan and cheddar cheese.
9 Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
*Converting a recipe to gluten-free: http://huff.to/1KSxsjv … or use this online recipe and adapt to Grandma Pearl’s version: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/jalapeno-cheddar-corn-muffins
Or for the 2 cups of wheat flour, convert to 1 1/2 cups rice flour, 1/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca starch, and 1 tsp xantham gum.
**Slice jalapenos in half. Remove seeds and membrane for less hotness. Don’t touch face or eyes before washing hands thoroughly.
Pearl Cahill’s Rhubarb Apple Pie
Janet Chester Bly
Servings: 8 from 9” pie
4 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 cup peeled and chopped sweet apples
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 2/3 cups sugar or packed brown sugar or 1/2 cup honey
3/4 tsp. orange zest
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 dash ground nutmeg
1 dash ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 pastry for double-crust 9” pie (from your own or your grandmother’s favorite recipe)
1 Preheat oven 400° F.
2 For the filling: in large saucepan combine rhubarb, apple, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and nuts.
3 Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
4 Add butter. Cool.
5 Prepare pastry shell for double crust pie. On lightly floured surface, roll 1/2 dough from center out to form 12” circle. Place in 9” pie dish. Trim to 1/2” beyond pie dish edge.
6 Pile filling into shell.
7 Roll remaining dough and form into 12” circle. Lay over filling. Press ends into crust edge. Fold bottom over. Crimp edges together.
8 Egg wash on top: 1 egg and 1 Tbsp. water. Brush top of crust. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
9 To prevent edges from burning, cover with 1” strips of foil.
10 Place on baking sheet.
11 Bake 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake additional 25 minutes until center is bubbly and crust golden.
12 Cool on rack.
About the Author:
Janet Chester Bly is a city girl with a country heart. She doesn’t corral horses or mow her own lawn. “I’m no womba woman,” she says. But she followed her husband award-winning western author Stephen Bly to the Idaho mountain top village of Winchester to write books and minister to a small church. When she lost him, she stayed. She manages the online Bly Books bookstore, rakes lots of Ponderosa pine needles and cones, and survives the long winter snows.
Janet Chester Bly is the widow of award-winning western author Stephen Bly. Together they authored and co-authored 120 fiction and nonfiction books. She and her three sons finished Stephen’s last novel for him, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot, a Selah Award Finalist. The family’s story is told on her website blog: http://www.blybooks.com/. Wind in the Wires is Janet’s first solo adult novel, a contemporary western mystery, a road adventure with a touch of romance. It’s Cowgirl Lit. Reader’s Guide for Group Discussion included.